Education serves to open our minds to the possibilities and opportunities available. It presents us with skills that we can use to earn a living and improve our quality of life. Many of our early years are spent in school getting an education. Education advocates are pushing for higher quality schools as a ladder out of the poverty cycle.
The American dream is based on the narrative that education is the most critical factor in attaining upward mobility and a good income. Education research experts are challenging this belief. In a recent report, researchers argue that the quality of education you get in school has little to do with how much income you earn in the future. In line with this thinking, Adrian Rubin offers several reasons education might not be the magic key to prosperity.
- Knowledge and skills have to be backed by influential external factors such as social background and your parent’s income level.
- Education does little to influence the speed of your upward mobility. Geography is reported to play a more significant role than a good education.
- Numerous other factors contribute to the success and financial freedom of a resident. These include discriminatory attitudes in the society, family structure, the economic level of the community and inequality in earnings.
- Education is no longer synonymous with the age-old tradition of equal opportunity for all. An extension of the above research narrowed its focus on the role of quality of education in influencing upward mobility and level of income. The progressive study was conducted by Jesse Rothstein of UC Berkeley. The basis of the research is that a good education secures you a spot in college. This, in turn, guarantees you a good and well-paying job. Consequently, this propels you to out-earn your parents and climb up the social-economic ladder. Similarly, popular myth has accelerated this belief advocating for higher quality schools as the ultimate vehicle to lift people out of poverty.
- The report cites elements outside of the school education system such as robust regional labor markets and conducive family structures as being more influential than the quality of the school you attend.
- Additionally, incentives such as higher minimum wage, support from a vibrant labor union community, and clear career progression pathways in local industries have a more significant impact on your success and financial freedom.
- The research is driving focus groups and policymakers back to the drawing board to examine out-of-school factors more closely. Besides the above, these include sustainable access to quality health care and food among others.
Regardless of which side of the divide you fall, everybody agrees that education is important. However, it should be backed by influential elements for it to enable you to achieve upward mobility. In other words, while you’re going through your academic career, apply for internships or a part-time job so that you can also gain experience to back your education. Having real-world experience can make a big difference throughout your life.
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